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The Blank Page of History Two Kinds of Chess

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Why the West Won't Win Against Islam

by Christopher Chantrill
September 10, 2006 at 12:31 pm

WE ALL KNOW that we will win the war against Islamic fascism. Or will we? Author David Selbourne sets out ten reasons why, as things stand, Islam will not be defeated. Selbourne is author of the book The Losing Battle with Islam.

  1. Disagreement in the non-Muslim world about what is really going on.
  2. The nature of Islam is misunderstood. It is not a religion. “It is a transnational political and ethical movement that believes that it holds the solution to mankind’s problems.”
  3. “[T]he low level of Western leadership, in particular in the United States.
  4. “[T]he egotistical competitiveness... of “experts” and commentators on Islam, from “Islamophobes” to “academic apologists.”
  5. “[T]he confusion of ‘progressives’ about the Islamic advance,” viewing Muslims through the lens of colonialism and multiculturalism.
  6. “[T]he vicarious satisfaction felt by many non-Muslims at America’s reverses.”
  7. “[T]he moral poverty of the West’s, and especially America’s, own value system.” Obedience to Allah will beat freedom and liberty.
  8. The skill and effectiveness of Muslim media and propaganda.
  9. The dependency of the West on the Middle East’s oil resources.
  10. The notion that “technology-driven modernity and market-driven progress are innately superior to the ideals of ‘backward’ Islam.”

The clarity and the forcefulness of these ideas are helpful in thinking about what the West must do to counter the Muslim threat.

But the biggest thing to think about is the lesson of the Enlightenment.

The great Enlightenment thinkers in the eighteenth century were trying to find a path out of the brutal religious wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Their solution was to back off from the search for the good, the true, and the beautiful. They proposed instead a society in which these absolutes were removed from the public square into the private realm. In politics we would be content with the fairly good, the true enough, and the merely pretty.

The result, of course, was the staggering prosperity revolution of global capitalism. It was when the West abandoned the Islamic notion of a “transnational political and ethical movement that believes that it holds the solution to mankind’s problems” that it began its breathtaking climb to world domination.

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.

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What Liberals Think About Conservatives

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Racial Discrimination

[T]he way “to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,” Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District


Liberal Coercion

[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State


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MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050


Responsible Self

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Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


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[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Sacrifice

[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values


Pentecostalism

Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
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Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

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Drang nach Osten

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Government Expenditure

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©2007 Christopher Chantrill